2014 Car Affordability Study

The Bottom 7 Cities

We're not going to sugarcoat this.

We think median-income households in the seven cities at the bottom of our 2014 Car Affordability Study shouldn't even spend $20,000 a new car or truck.

They need to look at models that cost 40% to 50% less than the average transaction price for new vehicles ($32,086 last year).

When you can only afford $14,000 to $19,000, you're shopping for basic transportation — compact and subcompact models that emphasize value over pizzazz.

But we think our city-by-city examples provide safe, reliable rides to work or play. That's the most important thing, right?

Cheap to buy often means cheap to drive, too. These cars get up to 41 mpg on the highway.

Here's how to figure out how much you can afford to spend exactly as we did for the median households in our study.